tv Global 3000 KCSMMHZ April 17, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT
>> hello and welcome to global 3000, your weekly look at global developments that change the way we live locally. today we begin with a sneak preview of capitalist style economy in cuba. havana -- how private cash could soon transform the fate of cuba's crumbling capital. bangladesh -- how local women are overcoming environmental disaster. and oyster farming an senegal -- why rich harvests here aren't just good for the farmers although it's not a very big country, bangladesh is the 9th
most populated nation in the world. and the situation is only exacerbated during the annual floods when a third of the country disappears under water. worse still, arable land is eroded or depleted through increasing levels of salt in the soil. in the face of such adversity the organization "centre for global change" is helping local women rebuild their lives. with most men heading to the big cities to look for work, it is up to them to provide for their families. not an easy task, but many are proving that not even the side effects of climate change can stop them. hamida khatun makes a little extra money planting green chilis. she's a housewife with three children. her husband is a seasonal laborer. the soil in this region is too saline, and water is scarce.
chilis are one of the few vegetables that grow under these salty conditions. >> it's my land i'm growing the chilis on. i want to feed my family well, and then i can sell the rest at the market. >> hamida khatun learned how to grow chilis from ahsan ahmed. his organization, the "centre for global change" aims to help the local women stay in their villages and provide for their families, even as climate change threatens their livelihoods. hamida's also started raising chickens. >> it not only gives them self- confidence, but at the same time respect from others, because now they are the change-makers. if a lady is successful in her extra activities, then the neighbors are interested in it.
they come to her, learn from her. she earns respect, not only money. at the same time, the neighbors have benefited from her activities. >> most of the men go off to work in the capital dhaka or other cities and only come back to the village to see their friends and families. the women work hard to get by from one day to the next -- as jamilla is well aware. >> of course, we work just as hard as the men -- maybe even harder. we have to take care of the children and the household, too. >> one of the staple crops is rice. but the rains are staying away, and the soil in coastal areas is turning saline. only a few varieties of rice can still grow in it.
one family is trying out a new, more resistant variety -- with financing from the centre for global change. >> we're harvesting almost twice as much rice as normally. we're expecting 18 to 20 sacks; we used to get only ten to twelve. we even have enough to sell some at the market. >> the experiment is paying off. but not everyone can afford to plant the new variety. for some, it's a losing struggle against poverty. >> the population is increasing, and the resource base remains the same, so if you divide, then the resource to man ratio is declining very fast. with every turn of generation, they are actually dividing the same land and enjoying... by an increasing number of families... more people. >> many country-dwellers are moving to the cities in search of better lives. some 22 million people now live in the greater dhaka area.
ahsan ahmed advises government representatives, saying the ministries ought to give more support to the women. and in the long term, the migration to the cities has to be stopped. >> for a country which is trying to do better in future, we must try to understand climate hazards through the eyes of the vulnerable - and through the eyes of the women who are likely to be vulnerable under climate change. >> one of the biggest problems for coastal-area villages is large-scale shrimp farming. it's driving the local farmers off their land. a small number of investors make good money from the shrimp, which is exported to japan and europe. but the operations leave the soil even saltier than before. >> this is an ugly face of the globalization. unfortunately, the price that
has been paid for shrimp doesn't really cover those, whose livelihoods have been shattered because of higher salinity, and they had to leave. and mostly, they have migrated to urban areas, and they generally live in shanty slums, and their living conditions are horrendous. >> clean water is scarce. most families in rural areas wash themselves in ponds like this one. but the dirty water makes them ill. gastrointestinal and skin problems are widespread. so ahsan and his co-workers are setting up tanks that filter groundwater. twenty families come here every day to collect drinking water. >> climate change is causing lots of problems for us. farmers used to work this whole area here, but it's not possible now. it's almost all shrimp farming. we can't even grow other kinds of seafood because of the soil is so salty.
so just us women are left here -- the men are in the cities and don't even think about us any more. >> shuchitra has started farming large crabs. innovations like this help people stay in their home regions and earn enough so they're not forced to sell their land to investors. they can farm sustainably for the local markets. these crabs need less salt water than the shrimp grown on the industrial farm nearby. it's a successful business model. >> i'm very proud. now i'm managing the money for the family and even earning my own. i can even buy things for myself. i feel more in control now. >> like shuchitra, these women are learning how to make money on their own. with other villagers, they discuss what they can grow on
their fields and how climate change is affecting them. hamida is standing on her own two feet. while her husband was doing odd jobs in the city, she was showing four neighbor women how to get better yields from their land. we head to cuba now. this bastion of communism is beginning to show some signs of opening up to the concept of a market economy. although the parole "socialism or death" remains firmly in place, there's no denying that cuba has long been benefiting from capitalist principles. the country relies heavily on cash brought in by tourists or transactions with the cuban diaspora. now the castro government has permitted some reforms and instantly reaped the reward in the form of 3% economic growth. in addition it has legalized 181 professions and for the first time in five decades opened the door to free trade in real estate.
this new tolerance is benefiting state coffers in terms of tax revenues. but it also offers the government the chance to give havana a much needed face-lift. here's more on a real estate boom -- cuban style. >> the beauty and grace of havana's old town are gradually being restored -- with sumptuous facades and lovingly renovated colonial palaces. old splendor awakened to new life attracts two and a half million tourists a year, making the old town a major source of badly needed currency. che stands firm as the city crumbles. living space is a commodity in very short supply here. this man is offering two houses for sale. until recently, that would've been illegal. in november, 2011, the law was changed to allow the buying and selling of real estate. the housing market on havana's main boulevard, the prado, is informal -- and brisk.
josé oviedo comes here every saturday, looking for someone to buy his one-room apartment. >> it was a good reform that lets us buy and sell now. that'll help lots of people in havana solve their problems. >> but away from havana's showcase streets, the old town is in poor shape. josé and a friend show us where they live -- it's little more than a ruin. many of the houses are unfit for habitation. cuba has a total estimated shortage of nearly a million homes -- in a country of 11 million people. josé's family of four share a single room. before the reform, cubans were only allowed to trade housing the state had allotted them. but josé never found anyone to trade with, so he and his family made the best of it.
the living space is below and the sleeping quarters above. it's hard to live together in this space -- we always have to think about the others, and that's why we'd like a bigger apartment." >> a peek down the courtyard reveals support beams holding up the walls. but in the restored houses, the old walls are returned to their former glory. getting an apartment here is like hitting the jackpot. gloria condé is one of the lucky residents. she works in the urban renewal authority's offices -- which might've helped. what to do with residents of buildings slated for renovation is a tricky question. the state tries to avoid forced resettlements.
>> the comrades decide how the apartments are to be allotted, and they assign them. >> gloria's assigned space is a choice one -- with a view of the historic plaza vieja. havana has been restoring ruined buildings for some twenty years, converting them into luxury office space, hotels and restaurants. the state invests the revenues from these enterprises in more projects. using capitalist-style profits to finance the rehabbing of the old town is unique for cuban socialism. the urban renewal authority is credited with creating jobs for up to ten thousand people, including architects and engineers.
and they enjoy a surprising degree of independence in their work. havana's city historian is the ethnic german eusebio leal spengler. he's directing the restoration. >> we never really have enough. we need new technologies and investment just to deal with the high humidity. restoration is a never-ending process. >> of the some 900 buildings awaiting restoration, only 90 have been done in twenty years. havana blames the u.s. embargo for the slow pace, but the inefficiency of cuba's planned economy is also a factor. so the restoration of havana's old town won't be finished in the near future. restoration is underway in one building, while the next one stands empty and abandoned.
>> if there's an imminent danger of a building falling down, of course we have to relocate the residents somewhere else. that's a part of our program. >> they are relocated to mass housing developments like alamar, where no trace of havana's charm is to be found. chef jorge amentero lived in the old town for more than thirty years. now he has to adjust to living in the new development. >> the move was very fast and well-organized, but as you can imagine, i miss my old home, after living there for so long.
>> the long years of stagnation did have some unexpected benefits: the magnificent colonial buildings were saved from the wrecking ball that destroyed a lot of history in other formerly socialist countries. at the current pace, it'll be some time before josé oviedo's house comes up for renovation. he makes his living pedaling a bicycle taxi -- often past the bright and shiny facades of buildings already done. >> it does hurt when i see that, and i have to wonder: why was this building picked for renovation, while nothing, at all, is happening with ours? >> what josé needs isn't an architectural facelift, but a new home for his family. and the place to find one is in havana's new real estate market, where the deals seem to grow on trees.
and we continue exploring the way people live in different corners of the world. a political celebrity in bulgaria, former prime minister sergei stanischev is now an opposition leader. he tells us what globalization means to him -- very post communism. >> my name is sergei stanishev; i'm 45 years old, and i live in sofia, bulgaria. at the moment, i'm head of the bulgarian socialist party, the largest opposition party in bulgaria. from 2005 to 2009, i was bulgaria's prime minister. in november, last year, i was elected president of the party of european socialists, the pes.
globalization is a reality. it's radically changed our world. everything is connected to everything else. what happens in china, latin america or the middle east directly affects the lives of europeans and the other way round. what i'm worried about are the massive inequalities between rich and poor nations, as well as the increasing instability in many parts of the world, including the european union. for these very reasons, globalization has to be regulated under conditions of equality.
most of all, i like to spend my free time with my daughter. she's eight months old. that's my greatest joy. also, i go swimming regularly. my hobby is diving. it's a passion i developed years ago, and it gives me great inner peace. the future is always in our hands -- there's no pre- determined future. the future can be better, if we take an active part in our society. >> and shaping a better future is also what a group of oyster farmers had in mind when they
decided to radically change the way they deal with nature. now our regular viewers are by now well-acquainted with the unique contribution mangrove forests make to preventing erosion as well as filtering air and water. in senegal they are also a vital breeding ground for oysters. as part of our "africa on the move" series we went to senegal's oyster farms and found that protecting the environment and bumping harvests can be two sides of the same coin. seynabou diatta pierces one oyster shell after the other with a practiced hand. she heads a group of women, who've been working together for seven years now. they string shells that they use to farm oysters.
seynabou and the other women learned this method in courses offered by the local environmental agency. >> our village has always harvested oysters. but at some point, we realized we couldn't use our old methods any more. we bought materials like these cords and introduced this new method. >> they took out a small loan as start-up capital. it's long since been paid off, and now the women finance themselves. >> this new method is gentle on the environment. the oysters reproduce easily, and our harvest is better than it used to be. >> the people of nema bah had
never given much thought to the environment before. they live primarily from the oyster harvest and some fishing, as well. this idyllic estuary several hundred kilometers from the senegalese capital dakar is lined with mangroves which provide nesting grounds for several kinds of fish -- and for oysters. the women have just a few hours to finish their work before the tide comes in. seynabou says that, for years, the villagers chopped the mangrove roots to get at the oysters. but in doing so, they destroyed the very foundation of their livelihood. the method they use now is no
less work, but it's more sustainable. after about a half hour's walk, they come to the oyster bed. it's 40 degrees celsius in the shade and humid -- an ideal climate for oysters. the larvae attach themselves to the shells and grow. >> now we've finished hanging up the new strings. the work we do here isn't easy -- it's really very hard work. we don't have the right clothes or footwear. here you see: i cut myself on the sharp edges of the shells. >> they do what they must to make a living.
the smaller oysters are put in net sacks and kept wet until they mature. >> this was a good harvest. the little oysters are especially delicious. >> it takes fourteen months for the mollusks to mature enough for harvesting -- work that has always been done by the women here. seynabou and the others have cause to celebrate -- the harvest could hardly have turned out better.
each woman carries a kilo of oysters on her head. they bring in a total of eighty kilos a year. they clean and smoke the shellfish as soon as they get back to the village. >> this work is quite lucrative. we can support ourselves with the money we make and also pay the school fees. and if any one of us or the children falls ill, now we can afford to buy medicine. >> the oysters are laid out to dry in the sun. two days later, seynabou can take them to market. she puts some of them aside for her own little shop.
she gets the equivalent of five euros a kilo. the women share the earnings equally. >> we sell our oysters at the weekly market, too. we can get double the price for them there. >> the women have plans that go beyond the local market. they're going to try to increase their harvest and sell the oysters at markets throughout senegal. so there you go -- a local concept with global potential. and that's all we have time for this week. we hope you'll tune in again next time. until then from me and the entire global team here in berlin -- thanks for watching. bye bye! captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--